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Idaho Marriage Records

Idaho marriage records consist of files and other documents providing information on marriage unions in the Gem State. Some of the details that may be found include the following:

  • Full name of both parties in the marriage (first, middle, and last)
  • Ages of both parties
  • Marital status of spouses (divorced, widowed)
  • Full name of parents of both spouses
  • Signature of couples
  • Names of witnesses present during marriage ceremony

Idaho marriage records are necessary for a variety of reasons. Couples may require certified records to show proof of relationship when applying for a passport, opening a bank account, or obtaining or claiming insurance. A certificate may also be required when applying for a joint loan certificate or filing taxes. 

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Idaho

Idaho maintains different types of marriage records and information, the most important of which are the marriage license and marriage certificate.

Idaho Marriage Certificate:

An Idaho marriage certificate provides information on marriage ceremonies performed in the state. Certified copies can be obtained by submitting a request to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. After any wedding, the officiant signs both copies of the marriage license, one of which is sent back to the clerk for recording. Certified copies of this recording become what's referred to as the marriage certificate. Marriage certificates are used for various legal actions, ranging from name changes to applying for social security benefits.

Idaho Marriage License:

An Idaho marriage license is an official permit issued in person to couples who wish to marry. Generally, couples who want to obtain a marriage license must meet specific age requirements in compliance with the state's laws. As part of the application process, couples may also need to sign a marriage license affidavit and read an AIDS information sheet. Although Idaho has no residency restrictions on who may obtain a marriage license, the marriage ceremony must be performed within the state to be considered valid.

Note: Idaho also issues a certificate of non-impediment, proving that the registrant is unmarried and, therefore, free to marry.

Are Idaho Marriage Records Public?

Idaho marriage records are considered public after a fixed period. Per state laws, records remain confidential for 50 years, after which almost anyone can access them. In contrast, recently created records are issued to only persons with a "direct and tangible" interest in the record, such as each spouse. 

How to Find Marriage Records in Idaho

Anyone may obtain a marriage record in Idaho if they meet the state requirements. The following are some general steps for getting records in Idaho.

Step1. Determine the Type of Record

To find marriage records in Idaho, you must identify the record type and when it was created. The Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics maintains records of marriage licenses issued across the state since 1947. However, older records can only be found by contacting county recorders in the county where the license was issued.

Step 2. Collect the Necessary Information 

To perform an effective search, record custodians will require some details about the record. Some of the information that can assist with record searches include:

  • The name of the city and county where the license was issued
  • Name of a married couple (first, middle, and last)
  • Date of the marriage
  • Names of parents on record. 

Requesters who wish to obtain certified copies of a protected record may also need to present additional documentation to confirm their eligibility, such as a birth certificate or a valid government-issued ID.

Step 3. Submit the Application and Pay the Fee

Requestions for certified copies must be submitted by mail to the following address:

Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0036

In addition to a completed application form, you'll need to pay the fee to obtain a copy. Certified copies of records issued by the Idaho Vital Records cost $16 for each copy. Acceptable payment options include money orders and cheques. While the processing time for marriage records varies on a case-by-case basis, most non-rush certificate orders generally take two to four weeks, while expedited orders are processed in one to two weeks.

Note: Requests for certificate changes may take as long as six weeks. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Idaho

The county recorder's office issues marriage licenses in Idaho. Anyone who wishes to get a marriage license can do so with the following steps.

Step 1. Meet the Eligibility Criteria

Marriage licenses are only issued to applicants who meet the conditions defined by the state (as outlined under Idaho Code sections 32-205 to 32-207). Namely:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old to marry. Persons aged 16 or 17 may obtain a license with parental consent only if the age gap between both parties does not exceed three years.
  • Applicants must NOT have any direct relationship. In addition, marriage between first cousins is not permitted. 
  • Applicants must NOT be in another existing marriage. Polygamous marriages are illegal in the state.

Step 2. Submit application

Applications for a marriage license must be made in person at the office of the County Recorder. Offices are generally open between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday. While some counties allow walk-in applications, others may require prior appointments. During the application, both parties must provide a social security number and state-issued identity card that lists their age and identity.

Step 3. Pay the Fee

Most counties in Idaho charge approximately $30 for each marriage license. However, acceptable forms of payment typically vary. While some counties may accept checks or cards, others may insist on cash payments. In addition, counties offering services over the weekend may include an additional fee of up to $20.

After the application is approved, the office issues two copies of the marriage license, which remains valid for up to a year. Unlike some states, which mandate a waiting period, intending spouses can marry the same day a license is issued. 

Who can obtain Marriage Records in Idaho?

Access to marriage records in Idaho will depend on the age of the record. Generally, most residents can obtain copies of records older than 50. However, certified copies of records less than 50 years old can only be accessed by persons with a "direct and tangible interest. Examples include immediate family members, such as children, parents, grandchildren, and siblings. When submitting a request for records, you'll need to state your relationship to the license as well as give some details about the registrants and event, such as:

  • Bride's full name
  • Groom's full name
  • Date and location of marriage

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Idaho

Although requests for certified Idaho marriage certificates can be made online, this typically comes with a fee. However, residents may be able to find older marriage records using local online indexes maintained by counties. Requesters may also be able to search for free marriage records using third-party platforms. Operating as private entities independent of any state government agency, third-party sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions. Access to some records may require essential information, such as the subject's name or marriage location.  

Is Idaho a Common Law State for Marriage?

Idaho is no longer a common-law marriage state. Although common-law marriages were allowed for most of the 1900s, Idaho eliminated such unions with legislation passed in 1995. As of 2024, only common law marriages established before 1996 are recognized in the state. Idaho also recognizes common-law marriages created in other states that permit this type of union.

Couples who wish to live together without going through a formal marriage may consider alternative options, one of which is a cohabitation agreement. Cohabitation agreements are legal documents signed by two parties in which they align agreed rights and responsibilities. For instance, cohabitation agreements can set how couples share finances, debt, or property ownership. Such documents are considered legal and valid in Idaho courts.

Note: Although a cohabitation agreement provides some legal coverage in Idaho, it does not grant couples all the rights and protection of a formal marriage.

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